The importance of assessment and planning in Early Years

Elmhurst School for Boys

5th April 2019 | Little Elms Blog

The importance of assessment and planning in Early Years

Ongoing formative assessment is at the heart of effective Early Years practice. Nursery and Reception teachers understand and observe each child’s development and learning, assess progress and plan for next steps. Observations are done daily to see what each child is doing and can do. These observations help us identify strengths, areas for support and most importantly, areas of interest. Using a child's interests is a wonderful way of achieving engagement.

Practitioners then analyse the observations and decide what they tell us about each child. Daily assessment is used to consider ways to support the child to strengthen and deepen their current learning and development. Planning is then implemented to see what is next, for each individual child. Experiences and opportunities, learning environment, resources, routines and the practitioners’ role, all support this process.

At the end of each term, I complete a Summative Assessment in Little Elms. This is done with the help of our Learning Books. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requires Early Years practitioners to review children’s progress and share a summary with parents at two points - first in the prime areas between the ages of 24 and 36 months, and then at the end of the EYFS. In Little Elms and Reception, we have Parent and Teacher meetings each term to ensure an effective working relationship with our parents. "Development Matters", the EYFS document, is used by Early Years settings throughout the EYFS as a guide to making best-fit judgements about whether a child is showing typical development for their age, may be at risk of delay or is ahead for their age. Our Summative Assessments help to support information-sharing with parents and colleagues.

After all that, a little rest and relaxation is in order. Have a Happy Easter!

- Mrs Skinner

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